Jan 12 2011

Remembering Haiti

One year ago this week, the world turned it's eyes and hearts towards Haiti as the country was rocked by a devastating earthquake.  Even in the middle of destruction and pain, stories of hope emerged ... Wow, God stories.  Jillian Thorp of World Concern shares her "Wow, God" story below.  What about you?  Did the Haiti earthquake produce a "Wow, God" story in your life?

To see more on what has happened in Haiti since the earthquake, go here ...

Plus, see the amazing journey of Tim Scott and Will Decker, who journeyed to Haiti shortly after the earthquake hit, in their Travel The Road videos ...

Haiti Trailer from Travel the Road on Vimeo.

Jan 12 2011

Made to Crave - Day 8

Day 8: I’ll Start Again on Monday

Based on Chapter 2 of Made to Crave

  

Thought for the Day: “Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you with expectation.” (Psalm 5:1–3)

  

“I’ll start again on Monday” are the ill-fated words that I’m certain have passed through every woman’s mind since the beginning of time. Whether it’s an excuse regarding our diet, exercise, temper, or devotional time, this phrase cycles through our lives on a regular basis. Or, is it just me?

 

For example, on a Saturday morning, I head down to my kitchen vowing to do better, eat healthier, and make good choices, only to have my resolve melt like the icing on the cinnamon rolls my daughter pulls from the oven. So I conclude the weekend is the worst time to begin eating healthier and tell myself, “I’ll start again on Monday.”

 

However, I find myself nagged by the subtle feeling of defeat, disappointment, and frustration. This crushing cycle of powerlessness that I’ve come to hate continues. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wander around on a fruitless path unable to enter into the abundant life God has for me.

 

Today I challenge you to start a new cycle of making God your focus, rather than food. Each time you crave something you know isn’t part of your plan, use that craving as a prompting to pray. I crave a lot. So I’ve found myself praying a lot. Potato chips and brownies now prompt me to pray! God gave us the gift of prayer to turn our times of desperation into relationship opportunities with Him. This cycle is far more promising than distancing ourselves from His goodness with our own sense of self-loathing and defeat.

 

For example, when we make God our focus, we can wake up in the morning and say “God, I want a biscuit this morning. Instead, I’m eating poached eggs. I’m thankful for these eggs, but I’ll be honest in saying my cravings for other things are hard to resist. But instead of wallowing in what I can’t have, I’m making the choice to celebrate what I can have.”

 

What better way to live than fully in today rather than always looking to start over on Mondays!

 

 

For more information about Lysa TerKeurst and her book Made to Crave, please visit: www.MadetoCrave.org

Jan 11 2011

Made to Crave - Day 7

Day 7: Finding My Beautiful

Based on Chapter 8 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKheurst

  

Thought for the Day: “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

  

I don’t know a woman alive who is completely happy with her body. No woman I’ve met has ever said, “I eat healthy, I exercise, and I love the way I look 100 percent.” Not me, and I doubt you do either. Some perceived flaws are related to weight. But just as often, we find imperfections that exercise can’t cure, such as body shape, height, genetics, or signs of aging.

 

We tend to focus on what we see wrong with our bodies, including negative impressions and comments that stick with us from childhood. In middle school, weight wasn’t my biggest concern, but rather my ankles … yes, my ankles! A boy I liked once called them “tankles.” You bet that left a scar.

 

I will always have cellulite, stand 5′7″, and have a low waistline. In the grand scheme of life, I know these are shallow concerns. But if I allow my brain to park in a place of dissatisfaction about my body, it gives Satan room to strip me of motivation by whispering, “Your body is never going to look the way you want it to look, so why sacrifice so much? Everyone eventually falls apart. Your discipline is in vain.” That’s why I have to seek the Lord’s perspective, such as the reminder in Psalms:

 

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name … and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1–5)

 

 

I’ve learned through God’s Word that the body He gave me is good. It’s not perfect, nor will it ever be on this side of eternity. But my body is a gift, a good gift for which I can be thankful. Being faithful in taking care of this gift and walking according to God’s plan gives me renewed strength to keep a healthy view of my body.

 

God didn’t curse my body with tankles and cellulite, and He has not cursed you. When I chose to view my body is as a good gift from God, I thanked Him for making me just the way I am. He revealed some benefits of my larger ankles, such as: I can hike with my husband, stand cheering for my kids at multiple sporting events, chase my dog through the yard, and never have a sprained ankle. Oh, what freedom! What redemption! What a sweet gift! I am able to look at those airbrushed, skinny-ankled women on TV or on the magazine covers and be happy for them without loathing myself.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” I’ve found my beautiful. And I like my beautiful. I don’t have to hold my beautiful up to other people’s bodies with a critical eye of judgment. I pray that you see your beautiful today and enjoy the blessings of the body that God gave you.

 

 

For more information about Lysa TerKeurst and her book Made to Crave, please visit: www.MadetoCrave.org

Jan 10 2011

Made to Crave - Day 6

Day 6: Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat before Thinking

Based on Chapter 3 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

  

Thought for the Day: It’s possible to muster up the occasional gumption to avoid the slippery slope of compromising a diet. But more often than not, we need measures of accountability. For me, one of the most effective accountability measures has been mutually tracking progress with a friend.

  

I love the song by the Supremes that says, “Stop, in the name of love, before you break my heart. Think it over.” Who would have thought this classic tune could apply to so much more than a girlfriend warning her wayward beau? Contained within the melody is a powerful statement that applies to many areas of our life: Think it over. I wonder how many bad choices and severe consequences could have been averted if that three-word statement had been applied.

 

Sometimes we can muster up the gumption to think it over on our own and avoid the slippery slope of compromise. But more often than not, we need measures of accountability. For me, one of the most effective accountability measures has been mutually tracking progress with friends.

 

For instance, I have a friend who started eating healthy ahead of me, and she’s been an invaluable source of encouragement. She was the first to challenge me, “Lysa, if you do this healthy eating plan, it will work.” I clung to her statement when I had those really hard moments of temptation.

 

My friend served as a voice of reason and stability, assuring me that my new lifestyle choices would be worth it and get easier. Plus, I hated the thought of having to admit that I hadn’t persevered when she asked. If she could press through her hard days, then so could I.

 

Another friend started a healthy eating plan along with me. We both knew it would be hard, so we committed to pray for one another as well as hold each other accountable. Each day, we talked about what we’d be eating. Every week, we reported our weight to one another. We processed each struggle and helped each other battle temptation.

 

While I cannot expect anyone else to make my decisions for me, it was motivating to know that someone else cared about my struggles. We encouraged each other with this motto, “If it’s not part of our plan, we don’t put it in our mouths.”

 

I never thought I could leave my old eating habits full of potatoes, white bread, pasta, rice, chips, brownies, and other sugary delights. I didn’t think I’d last a day. But watching my friend’s success and having my other friend willing to sacrifice with me gave my brain the permission to stop—in the name of love—and think it over.

 

 

For more information about Lysa TerKeurst and her book Made to Crave, please visit: www.MadetoCrave.org